Did anyone listen to that Radio 5 live phone in about this at the weekend?
I did, and it was rather surprising. Virgin have done test flights and will be sending people up into space early next year. For £250K you get several days training, a leisurely journey up there, a few minutes of weightlessness, 10 or so of nice views then you come back. 600 people so far are on the waiting list.
A Dutch company are also hoping to start sending folks up next year, but their launch is from a stupidly powerful rocket ship that gets you into space in just 4 minutes.
Obviously you have to sign huge forms saying that you realise there's a 63% chance you'll explode or shit your flight suit, but I found it pretty mental that in about 6 months joe public can just pop off into space on their summer hols.
Environmental disaster? A necessary scientific foray allowing us to maybe leave the solar system and set up colonies? A way of speeding up travel (the Dutch team spoke of cutting down transatlantic flights to a couple of hours if / when their flight goes live)? Great fun and exactly what you'd spend £250K on if you had it.?